Jumping up and down squealing

I love designing for this time of year,  us knitters love any excuse to get our ‘Knit On’ and gift season is the perfect excuse for extra knitting hours!

In the November issue of Let’s Knit I have four new designs.  My first glimpse of the cover was at Alexander Palace, Knitting & Stitching Show.  I popped along to the stand to meet up with Sarah Neal, Let’s Knit Editor and I was delighted to see two of my designs on the cover.  I am playing it cool in the picture, but inside I am jumping up and down squealing.

Sarah Neal Lets Knit with Jane Burns

Talking of playing it cool, let me introduce you to Monkey.

cool sock monkey lets knit

This cool dude is knitted in the round; the head and body being one piece, and separate tubes worked for arms, legs, nose and ears.  This is an ideal project for using up left over sock yarn!

cheeky sock monkey lets knit

Also in this issue, Arcitc the snowman hat wearing a hat (I think that makes sense)

arctic snowman hat

This quirky novelty topper is knitted in Rowan Pure Wool to keep your little treasure snug and warm.


duchess fingerless mittens cable and lace

How about making these delicate lace trimmed, cable and lace mittens as a Christmas Gift?

Finally, this issue of the magazine has a cover mount kit containing the yarn you need to make these three knitted stars.

orion stars lets knit kit

orion stars lets knit kit

To get your copy of Let’s Knit Magazine instantly, download from the App Store

Look into my eyes, seriously…..

Look into my eyes, well take a look at my latest design I have just published on Ravelry.


“Eww, whose eyeballs have popped out on stalks?”

These quirky knitted eyeballs are very versatile. Why not sew them onto some deelyboppers, hang from the ceiling on elastic thread or attach to stalks and add some fear to your flowers! Pop them in party bags, add some catnip and turn them into a cat toy, the list is endless……..

They are knit in the round with simple shaping, so they will work up nice and quick.

A great project for learning to knit in the round and using up leftover yarn.

full picture

“Put some fear in your flowers”

What the Butler Saw.. Knitted Maid

I have just published another free pattern on Ravelry.  Inspired by my trip to the cinema in the summer to see Despicable Me 2.  Which was possibly the funniest film I have seen in a number of years! (I laughed more than most of the children, not sure what that says about me).

After working my way through the amazing blog tutorial by ‘All about Ami’  I made a crochet minion and adapted it to make a French maids outfit, including frilly pants.  This inspired me to make a mini knitted version.

vintage pose

laying down pose

climbing candle pose

frilly pants

Check out those frilly bloomers!


Me and my mate

Seduced by Yarn

Seduced by Yarn

A little yarn porn for you all,  look what arrived in the post today, Cascade 220.  I can’t wait to get my needles stuck into this selection of loveliness.  But I MUST resist,  still have a few projects to complete before … Continue reading

Bleedin' Yarn!

I have knit LOTS of socks,  I have knit LOTS of colourwork projects,  I have knit quite a number of projects combining  variegated yarn with a plain yarn. It makes for an interesting and complex look which is beautiful and simple.

So I approached this project with an air of confidence,  I didn’t anticipate too many surprises,  I know, I know…. fool.

I would love to be able to post lots of lovely pictures,  but as this project is a magazine commission I am unable to disclose too much about the finished item,  but you’ve guessed it is socks, right?

What happened?

I knit my way down the first sock,  sat back and admired it for a while before taking the ‘plunge’ and blocking it.  Thank goodness I didn’t wait and block both socks together!  I wanted to check that my colourwork lay nice and flat and that the floats were long enough and not pulling the delicate motifs out of shape.  I sprayed the sock liberally with water,  gently patted it to make sure the water penetrated all the fibres and slipped it over the sock blocker.  I use fibre trends sock blockers (just in case you were interested).  As I was eager to see it dry I committed what I think was my MISTAKE, I stood the sock on its toe to dry and left it overnight.

bleedin sock1

Next morning to my horror, sock massacre had occurred.  The beautiful commercially dyed red sock yarn had bled down into the white yarn.  I did what every deluded knitter would do,  walked away, made a cup of tea and hoped when I stepped back in the room it had all been a dream.  Sadly it wasn’t so.    After the emergency cuppa and a biscuit for, well, erm, because I can,  I set to and ripped out the toe.   I must confess,  I really quite enjoyed the challenge.

How to fix it

So if you ever find yourself in this particular bleedin situation,  or have a hole in the toe of a precious hand knit sock,  this is my method  for ripping back and reknitting the toe.

Firstly, I worked a lifeline around the first row of white stitches as a safety net.   I use a smooth cotton 4ply yarn in a contrasting colour.  I always keep a ball of Patons 4ply 100% cotton yarn in my knitting bag for lifelines and waste yarn purposes. Take the time to find the beginning of the round and pick up the right hand leg of each stitch all the way round the foot.

bleedin sock tutorial image

Next, slip the stitches onto DPN’s as set in the pattern.  You will now have one round of white stitches on the DPN’s,  here is where my cautious nature kicks in.  The brave amongst you will have placed your lifeline around the last red round.  I prefer to rip back or ‘tink’,  the final white round.  It gives me the opportunity to makes sure that all my stitches are mounted on the needles in the correct direction, that I have the right number of stitches on each needle and that the beginning of the round is in fact, at the beginning of the round.  Now you are ready to reknit the toe from your pattern.

Learn from my mistake,  always lay your precious colourwork flat to dry.

Check out option 3 on this great video tutorial by Knit Purl Hunter on lifelines

Feel like treating yourself? Check out Craftsy workshop, ‘Knit Sock Workshop’ with Donna Druchunas, not only does she teach you about lifelines in your knitting,  she also covers:

  • Each step of the sock-knitting process
  • Lace knitting techniques
  • The Kitchener stitch (grafting)
  • How to do a figure-8 cast-on
  • How to read a colorwork chart and lace charts
  • Proper measurements from knee to toe
  • Shaping techniques for heels, toes and calves

knit sock workshop craftsy